Maintaining Tables

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Maintaining Tables

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As a database matures and records are added and deleted, they eventually need a little bit of maintenance.  When you log in as the administrator user you can run various table maintenance functions to keep your database running smoothly.

Note: A database preference controls how often the system will prompt you to maintain tables. Depending on usage, frequency of deletes, etc., maintenance should be performed every 30-90 days.

Maintaining Tables

1.Open the Database Toolkit

2.Choose Maintain Tables.


 


 

3.The following fields are available:

Database Profile - Lists the database profiles found on the computer. Note that for this tool, the server database itself is also available for selection (listed as "<Local Database Server>").  Sometimes a computer crash can leave the server database in a bad state, so this lets you repair it.

Action -

oCheck Tables - checks each table for errors and indicates any problems in the output generated

oCheck and Repair Tables - same as Check Tables, but also automatically attempts the repair of any table indicating a problem

oOptimize Tables - this should be used monthly, or if you have deleted a large number of records.  Ordinarily, running an optimization once a month will keep tables compacted and well optimized. The most common use of the Optimize function is to reclaim allocated but unused space in a table (such as when a large block of records has been deleted.)  This is a little like optimizing a computer's hard disk.

oRun Support Script - this option enables you to execute a script provided by our support team, typically to make a database change of some sort.  Be certain the correct database is selected, then click Start.  You will be prompted for information required to run the script.

4.Click Start to start the selected action.

5.When the processes finishes, a list of output messages will be displayed.  A given table may be shown more than once; the first entry may show an error, followed by another entry showing "OK", meaning the problem was corrected. The last row shown for any table should always have a Message Text entry of "OK" or "Table is already up to date."  If you see any other message, run the "Check & Repair Tables" action.

Maintenance Frequency

It is a good idea to get in the habit of running the table maintenance operations on a monthly to quarterly basis, depending upon how much activity you have on your database (i.e., a database with 10 concurrent users and a half-million records will require more frequent maintenance for optimal performance) than a single-user database with 500 records.  Think of table maintenance as basic housekeeping for a healthy database.  Like changing the oil in your automobile, it keeps the database engine running well.

At a minimum, run Check Tables and look at the results.  If any errors or warnings are reported, run the Check & Repair Tables option and then run Check Tables again.  When finished, run Optimize Tables to refresh indexes and compact and organize your data.